A contone printer is a form of laser printer that attempts to achieve continuous tone quality by varying the size of the dot over which color is applied on paper. However, due to limited number of dot sizes (usually 8 in number), it cannot fully achieve continuous printing and needs to use dithering to make different shades. Example: Epson Stylus Pro 7900/9900 (CT). Continuous-tone printers are capable of printing each dot at various levels of lightness and darkness to achieve a continuous tone. Though these too have limited number of levels (256 generally), the transition isn’t perceptible to human eyes.
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